The FLOW Rocket Fund

Caltech’s FLOW Rocket Fund is a granting pool that helps academic and garage innovators turn their technologies into commercial realities through financial support and entrepreneurial mentoring and education.

The fund is an exclusive program of the Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech, which is dedicated to supporting the cutting-edge and creative problem solving necessary to change the balance of the world’s sustainability. In September 2019 philanthropists and entrepreneurs Stewart and Lynda Resnick, owners of The Wonderful Company, announced a $750 million pledge to Caltech to support cutting-edge research into the most pressing challenges in environmental sustainability.

Why You Should Apply

  • $25,000 - $75,000 in non-equity grants for cleantech and sustainability startups
  • Opportunity to work with utilities and access further funding
  • Introductions to experts in product development, scale up and manufacturing
  • Access to legal advice covering corporate structure and IP
  • Channel relationships with IN2 Wells Fargo, Shell GameChanger and the Electric Power Research Institute for securing voucher funding covering lab testing facilities and technical expertise

Steps to Apply

  • Review Rocket Fund Guidelines for eligibility, scope, technologies, and tips for applying
  • Open application account and submit by deadline: March 1, 2020
  • Round 1: Initial Screening for scope, eligibility March 2 – March 15
  • Round 2: Semi-Finals March – April, 2020
    • Complete Due Diligence and IP Disclosure Form
    • Selected semi-finalists reviewed by the Rocket Fund Technology Advisory Committee of industry, technical and business experts and investors
    • Finalists selected with special reference to: technology innovation with validating data; understanding of market and path to commercialization; customer interaction; and use of funds with demonstration site.
  • Round 3: Finals May, 2020
    • In person presentation to Review Panel at Caltech
    • Awardees establish MOU, receive grant

Partnering Opportunites

The Fund is a Membership organization, governed by a Membership Board, consisting of representatives from its members. The Fund’s Review Panel, consisting of Members and invited guests and observers, oversees the awards process with advice from the Rocket Fund’s Technology Advisory Committee and under the guidance of Neil F. Fromer, Executive Director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute, Rocket Fund Board Member and Chief Scientific Advisor overseeing the TAC.

We are seeking partners from the cleantech industry, academia and the investment community to join an exclusive group of like-minded experts on the TAC. The role of TAC is to:

  • Assess the business potential and technical viability of applications
  • Recommend semi-final and final awards
  • Provide inkind support where mutually beneficial

In return, TAC members gain early access to innovative technologies and fast-moving companies that can provide business leads and connections to award-winning innovators.

For those wishing to become more involved, the Rocket Fund offers a tiered Rocket Fund Membership Program. For more information see this package and contact Stephanie Yanchinski, Executive Director of FLOW/Rocket Fund, 626-395-1968.

Our Members

Southern California Edison
The mission of the Resnick Sustainability Institute is to foster transformational advances in energy science and technology through research, education and communication.
Moxie Foundation
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Sacramento Municipal Utilities District
San Diego Gas and Electric
Southern California Gas Company
Itron, Inc.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2)
EPRI: Electric Power Research Institute
KPPB is an IP law firm dedicated to protecting clients' brands, products and ideas through a variety of legal strategies.
Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) Channel Partner